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Rated 5 out of
Just the one for the job!I've been searching for a perfect bag to get my stuff (change of clothes and a lunch) to work for a long time. I did the messenger bag thing for a number of years (Timbuk2, would still recommend it) but I wanted to get the weight off my body and on the bike. However, when I get to work I still walk a few blocks to the gym so carrying a standard pannier was too awkward (Avid). Then I tried the supposedly water proof double pannier from Timbuk2, which I returned because it leaked.
The Ortlieb bag is everything it says and more. It's so comfortable as a backpack I think I'll start using it as a day pack. The quality of the attachment to the rack, the seams, the straps is phenomenal. I expect this pack will outlast everything but the frame on my bike.
Date published: 2014-03-26
Rated 4 out of
Clever design, but not perfect.Brilliant idea! A pannier that turns into a backpack. But it is not a perfect solution. Good points and limitations are below.
- Very waterproof
- Very easy take on/off the bike
- Turns into a backpack when off the bike
- Backpack function is not as quick and seamless as I would have hoped. I only convert it to a backpack if I am off the bike for an extended period of time. Otherwise I grab it by the top handle, like any ordinary pannier.
- Almost zero organizational features. This is mostly a big tub (like a dry bag). The small organizer inside is not useful for very much - and if the bag isn't fully loaded the organizer claps against the rigid back with every step you take (annoying).
- Rattles when walking around when using it as a backpack. The system for converting this to a backpack is very clever and robust, but the plastic mounting points mean that it rattles a bit with every step you take. I find it merely annoying, but it may be a deal-killer for some.
- Capacity is not huge. Plus the rigid construction means that it's capacity feels smaller than a normal backpack of the same size, since oddly-sized items are harder to accommodate (like shoes).
- The backpack straps use some of the interior volume.
- Requires a separate mount that is always attached to your rear rack. This means there are no hooks to dig into your side when carrying it (good). It also means one more thing attached to your bike, even when there is not pannier in place (bad).
OVERALL: While my list has a lot of CONS, I have generally enjoyed this pannier/backpack. I especially appreciate it on day-trips that mix biking and walking around town. It means I can comfortably carry my stuff in a backpack when off the bike for extended periods of time. This bag represents a lot of clever engineering, but the bottom line is that each of it's modes (backpack or pannier) is somewhat inferior to having separate versions of each of those items. If you can deal with those limitations, and have the right usage scenario, you'll probably enjoy this pack. If you were merely hoping to quickly convert it into a backpack before carrying your bike up the stairs at home/work, don't bother. You realistically won't bother changing it to a backpack unless you are going to be carrying it around for an extended period of time.
Date published: 2014-04-18
Rated 2 out of
Andrew Schwartz from
Great attachment, clumsy everything elseThe QL3 system is fantastic. The bag is slim, so there's little worry about heel strike. Everything else about this product I find clumsy and awkward.
As a backpack I find it horrendously uncomfortable. Detaching the backpack straps is just enough of a pain that I tend to just carry it by the handle (and there is no fixed handle, just the one that attaches to the moving QL3 parts). Stuffing the straps into the pocket severely compromises the effective capacity of the bag (at least with my load including a 15" laptop, and a water bottle in the side pocket). Moderately featured with internal organizational pockets.
I've simply detached the backpack system altogether and hooked on a shoulder strap.
Date published: 2014-03-26
Rated 4 out of
would've worked GREAT if i wasn't shortthis was a dream combo of waterproofing backpack & pannier! but i'm at least and inch or two too short. i am 5'1" and the bag is long enough where when riding in the drops, the top hit the back of my helmet or when more upright, would sit on the top of the belt on my pants making riding awkward and slightly cumbersome. also, the upper corners of the bag would create blind spots when looking back for traffic.
the minor faults i can found with the bag is that it didn't have an organizer-type compartment in it for smaller items. it has just one larger compartment and a smaller zippered one. i'd like to add that the straps and click on backpack "frame" is very comfortable and breathable. when tucked into the front zippered storage enclosure thingy, it did bunch into the main compartment, but still didn't take up too much space, so i didn't mind that. it has just enough room in it for a change of clothes, shoes, laptop and lunch if you are planning on using it as a commuter.
of course, i can only use it as strictly a pannier, but i was looking for a versatile backpack... it is certainly not for shorties, but otherwise, another great ortlieb product!
Date published: 2014-03-26
Rated 1 out of
maybe it seemed nice on paperA backpack pannier is highly attractive but only when it is done the right way. Timbuk2 did make the Especial Viaje which was a backpack pannier that seems the right way to deal with the duality while having comfort and interior volume.
The major difference that made me lean towards this model was that it had a waist strap (not pictured or even described yet should be included in this model).
If this product had at least 2 main compartments, then I would be more in love with it. A single large space means you forfeit organization that most backpacks would offer.
A highlight for this sack though is if you are into hacking, get your drill and special keys (non standard keys: like star keys but with an addition) out so you can make additions to the interior support plate. A simple thing that is missing is a key ring with a long enough strap.
The water bottle holders are rather odd. They semi secure the bottle but at the cost of struggling with the sack and do not feel that safe if the sack is stuffed.
I'm supplementing the lack of volume with a secondary small sack that can be worn as a purse or a 'fanny pack'. (this holding small and semi fragile objects) while the main sack holds larger items (folders/books/etc).
The conversion from backpack to pannier isnt ideal. The provided space to store the backpack straps isnt big enough and cuts into the interior space. A struggle that is not worth the effort.